Even the Queen

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"Even the Queen" is a science fiction short story by Connie Willis, exploring the long-term cultural effects of scientific control of menstruation. It was originally published in 1992 in Asimov's Science Fiction, and appears in Willis' short-story collection Impossible Things (1994) and The Best of Connie Willis (2013), as well as in the audio-book Even the Queen and Other Short Stories (1996).

Synopsis[edit]

Three generations of women discuss the decision of one of their daughters to join the "Cyclists", a group of traditionalist women who have chosen to menstruate even though scientific breakthroughs (in particular, a substance called "ammenerol") have made this unnecessary. The title refers to the fact that "even the Queen" of England menstruated.

Reception[edit]

"Even the Queen" won the 1993 Hugo Award for Best Short Story.[1] It also won the 1993 Nebula Award for Best Short Story.[2] Nalo Hopkinson called it "hilarious and contrary".[3] Laura Quilter, conversely, felt that it was "more of a diatribe against" feminism, with its humor being largely "its rather mean-spirited depiction of various strains of feminism";[4] Quilter subsequently specified that although the story "had some truthfulness & consequently some honest humor", she found it to be "hugely over-rated".[5]

The Village Voice considers it "light-hearted" and "a comedy of identity politics and mother-daughter relations",[6] while Billboard, reviewing the audiobook, describes it as a "sly jab at both feminists and anti-feminists."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1993 Hugo Awards, at TheHugoAwards.org; retrieved May 17, 2017
  2. ^ "sfadb: Nebula Awards 1993". www.sfadb.com. Retrieved 2017-11-17.
  3. ^ A Woman's Liberation: A Choice of Futures by and About Women, reviewed by Nalo Hopkinson, in Science Fiction Weekly; issue 234; retrieved January 13, 2019 via archive.org
  4. ^ Reviews: Connie Willis, by Laura Quilter, at Feminist SF; published August 11, 2001; retrieved via archive.org
  5. ^ Reviews: Connie Willis, by Laura Quilter, at Feminist SF; published February 18, 2003; retrieved via archive.org
  6. ^ Connie Willis Invades Wartime Britain, by Julie Phillips, at the Village Voice; published October 10, 2010; retrieved May 17, 2017
  7. ^ AUDIO BOOKS, edited by Trudi Miller Rosenblum, in Billboard (via Google Books); published December 12, 1996; retrieved May 17, 2017

External links[edit]